Trio of Champions Repeat at WPIAL Girls’ Cross Country Championships

Friday, October 28, 2022

Brownsville, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) hosted its Girls’ Cross Country Championships in the 1A, 2A, and 3A classifications on Thursday at Roadman Park on the campus of PennWest California. There were three repeat champions across the individual and team competitions – two teams in 2A and 3A, as well as a new three-time individual champion in 2A.

In 3A, North Allegheny won its fifth consecutive team championship and 16th overall, while Mt. Lebanon junior Logan St. John Kletter improved one spot from her 2021 runner-up finish to win individual gold. St. John Kletter is the Blue Devils’ first individual champion since Wendy Riker in 1992.

Montour made it two-for-two at 2A, earning its second straight team championship. Brownsville senior Jolena Quarzo became the 12th different student-athlete to win at least three WPIAL girls’ cross country titles, and made it four straight for the Quarzo family with her older sister Gionna previously winning in 2019.

Winchester Thurston became a first-time champion in 1A, while Shady Side Academy junior Chelsea Hartman claimed the Bulldogs’ first individual gold since Katrina Jueng in 2008.

Qualifying for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Girls’ Cross Country Championships are top the top four teams and top 20 non-team individuals in 1A, and the top three teams and top 15 non-team individuals in both 2A and 3A. The PIAA Girls’ Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, November 5 at the Hershey Parkview Course.

3A RECAP [Results]
North Allegheny placed all seven of its runners inside the top 25 en route to a fifth consecutive 3A team title, finishing with a score of 39 to best runner-up Mt. Lebanon by 68 points. Sophomore Wren Kucler was the Tigers’ top finisher in fourth with a time of 18:48.0, with junior Eva Kynaston (6th, 19:11.0), junior Erin McGoey (7th, 19:14.1), and senior Grace Rowley (8th, 19:18.9) also finishing top 10. Sophomore Robin Kucler (14th, 19:46.2) was the final scorer for North Allegheny, and sophomores Kendall Lucas (20th, 20:11.4) and Camille Swirsding (25th, 20:23.9) earned top-25 finishes.

Mt. Lebanon junior Logan St. John Kletter moved up one spot from her 2021 finish, claiming individual gold with a time of 18:22.3 – 10.7 seconds better than Pine-Richland senior Natalie McLean. The Blue Devils had two podium finishers with junior Caroline Adams’s time of 18:39.2 good for third, while sophomore Phoebe McNeil (23rd, 20:21.7) and senior Justine Meta (26th, 20:24.3) placed inside the top 30.

McLean’s runner-up effort led Pine-Richland, who claimed the final PIAA team spot. The Rams had two other finishers inside the top 40 in sophomore Maren Iski (31st, 20:38.2) and freshman Teagan Yurocko (38th, 21:01.1).

In addition to the student-athletes from North Allegheny, Mt. Lebanon, and Pine-Richland, qualifying for the PIAA Championships are: Elise Ashcroft (Moon), Amelia Barilla (Penn-Trafford), Carley Berk (Greater Latrobe), Lyla Brew (Moon), Ava Brewster (Butler), Lily Colombo (South Fayette), Annie Czajkowski (Norwin), Jenna Lang (Bethel Park), Meagan McKenna (Peters Township), Eliza Miller (Kiski Area), Abby Poe (South Fayette), Meredith Rhodes (Upper St. Clair), Grace Senneway (Peters Township), Sydney Shock (Moon), and Emerson Skatell (Greater Latrobe).

2A RECAP [Results]
Montour was able to defend its first WPIAL girls’ cross country team championship, winning again with a score of 57 – 34 points better than runner-up Beaver. The Spartans had all five scorers inside the top 20, and were paced by individual runner-up Harley Kletz (18:39.2). Junior Lakyn Schaltenbrand placed eighth with a time of 19:53.9, and senior Mikhala Kletz (16th, 20:40.8), sophomore Joelle Ludwick (17th, 20:43.8), and junior Amelia Trevenen (19th, 20:51.2) rounded out the scorers.

Brownsville senior Jolena Quarzo bested Montour senior Harley Kletz for the individual crown, with her time of 18:12.7 good for a margin of victory of 26.5 seconds. With her third individual title, Quarzo joins Vincentian Academy’s Marianna Abdalah (2013-16), Ellwood City’s Jenna Bartolomeo (1991-93), Hempfield Area’s Lauren Bricker (1999-01), Greater Latrobe’s Natalie Bower (2005-08), Moon’s Mia Cochran (2019-21), Neshannock’s Kacey Gibson (2005-07), Neshannock’s Julie Hamilton (1974-76), Quaker Valley’s Maxine Markfield (2000-02), Hempfield Area’s Chrissy Schneider (1993-95), Shaler’s Brianna Schwartz (2012-14), and Richland’s Kristine Stoehr (1986-88) as three-time champions in WPIAL girls’ cross country.

Beaver had four finishers inside the top 25 to claim bronze as a team. Senior Ella Andrew was the highest finisher in 10th with a time of 20:10.3, followed by sophomore Danica Purtell (13th, 20:32.0), sophomore Rylie Teapole (20th, 20:51.5), and junior Allison Tate (24th, 20:59.9).

Uniontown earned the bronze as a team and individually, as senior Hope Trimmer’s time of 19:13.4 was good for third place overall. The Red Raiders also had sophomores Grace Trimmer (21st, 20:52.2) and Addy Martin (27th, 21:09.7) finish inside the top 10.

In addition to the student-athletes from Montour, Beaver, and Uniontown, qualifying for the PIAA Championships are: Kadi Bauer (Burrell), Hope Bundash (McGuffey), Ellie Cain (Quaker Valley), Kevyn Fish (Hampton), Grace Fritzman (West Allegheny), Addison Fry (Indiana), Rachel Gill (Indiana), Chloe Hain (Indiana), Annabel Johnson (Woodland Hills), Regan Kerr (Greensburg Salem), Rachel Klemmensen (Deer Lakes), Eva Kulbago (Chartiers Valley), Cecilia Montagnese (Quaker Valley), Lexi Ohler (Southmoreland), Rosalyn Perozzi (Belle Vernon), Laurel Purcell (Avonworth), Jolena Quarzo (Brownsville), Tessa Rodriguez (Belle Vernon), Lilah Turnbull (Chartiers Valley), Ava Vitiello (Hampton), and Julia Zalenski (North Catholic).

1A RECAP [Results]
Winchester Thurston won its first WPIAL girls’ cross country championship in school history, capturing the 1A trophy with a score 58 – topping runner-up Our Lady of the Sacred Heart by 36 points. The Bears had four runners inside the top 25, highlighted by senior Cyd Kennard’s fifth-place finish with a time of 20:58.7. Freshman Abigail Weinstein (10th, 21:41.3), senior Abigail Patterson (18th, 22:06.7), and sophomore Sarah Nixon (23rd, 22:15.8) also placed top 25, while sophomore Delia Brown (37th, 23:21.8) finished the team’s scoring.

Shady Side Academy junior Chelsea Hartman claimed the individual gold with a time of 19:29.1, topping Riverside junior Lexi Fluharty by 31.3 seconds. The Bulldogs claimed the fourth and final PIAA team spot with 119 points, as Hartman was joined by freshman Rhyley Bendal (7th, 21:30.5) inside the top 10.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was led by sophomore Gianna Mosca’s time of 22:00.9, which was good for 15th place individually. The Chargers also had freshman Charlotte Gauntner (29th, 22:44.7), sophomore Emily Funka (32nd, 23:04.2), sophomore Margaret Sweeney (34th, 23:15.3), and junior Marg Grace Gauntner (36th, 23:21.1) place inside the top 40.

Riverview finished third as a team, with its top individual finisher being sophomore Lily Bauer (22:08.7) in 19th. Junior Gwyn Fitche (24th, 22:18.2), and freshmen Grace Johnson (39th, 23:31.7) and Rosa Lascola (40th, 23:35.3) earned top-40 finishes.

In addition to the student-athletes from Winchester Thurston, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Riverview, and Shady Side Academy, qualifying for the PIAA Championships are: Alexis Abbett (Aquinas Academy), Jonah Althof (Greensburg Central Catholic), Grace Baldauff (Northgate), Jordan Dean (Waynesburg Central), Allison Foster (Bishop Canevin), Lexi Fluharty (Riverside), Kylie Fruestorpher (Union), Anastasia Georgagis (California), Hope Haring (Eden Christian Academy), Valerie Hauser (Laurel), Emma Larkin (Geibel Catholic), Lauren Lomago (Eden Christian Academy), Alina McClafin (California), Lillian McClain (Mohawk), Bridge McNamara (Bishop Canevin), Vivian Miller (Eden Christian Academy), Danielle Tomley (Seton LaSalle), Clara Wallace (Ligonier Valley), Ellie Whippo (Mohawk), and Brooke Wissinger (Riverside).

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